The Rees Arts Project is an ongoing part of our Aftercare package for care experienced people. So far, we have run four art exhibitions featuring paintings, sculpture, photography and poetry from the care experienced community, as well as a National Short Story competition. We believe that creative expression can be instrumental not only in the recovery process from trauma but in exploring identity and having your voice heard.
Every month, we will be sharing the work of a care experienced person who expresses themselves through different creative mediums. Our fourth creative is Princess Bestman.
Princess is an actor, theatre maker and poet. She says,
"I am from London. I went into care at 11 years old and left at 18.
I am an aspiring actor currently at Drama School. My interests lie specifically in devised work. I am all passionate about directing work, as I would like to create a theatre company in the future. I have always been artistic, so have always written monologues, songs and poems as well as sketching and painting, which I don’t have the opportunity to do that much anymore.
Everything I do has always been as a creative outlet and a way of coping with difficult experiences. I find interest in anything creative, however my primary interest is in theatre. My love for theatre started from a young age and I have continued to discover new aspects of the industry that interest me. The ability to create something that can inspire others and urge them to view society from different perspectives is key to my work and I am always looking to be inspired by others.
I am currently in my second year at Drama school. Upon graduation, I hope to create my own work. My aim for the future is to create a theatre company for care leavers interested in theatre."
In late summer 2019, we launched our first National Short story Competition for care experienced writers. Our criteria and aims were simple: to create a friendly and open competition where norms of grading spelling, grammar and a pressure to delve into autobiographical detail, was avoided and where creative storytelling was paramount. The idea came from one of our Care Experienced Ambassadors Jacqui Adams who said, "I woke up one morning with the idea of a Short Story Competition, restricted to Care Experienced People and to encourage those who are not confident with writing for many reasons."
On 31st October 2019, we had our Awards Ceremony at Midlands Arts Centre, Edgbaston. It was an incredible evening; bringing together members of the Care Experienced community with non care experienced professionals, government representatives and local dignitaries.
We were fortunate enough to have prizes added to our own award bundle from the amazing IMO, MADLUG, and Green Willow Healing. These included audio book vouchers, writing kits, Birchboxes, aromatherapy goods, sweets and rucksacks. Thank you!
If you would like to read two of our winning entries you can do so, here:
Maggie by David Grimm.
No sugars please by Tychique Ciamala.
Congratulations from all at Rees Foundation.
Mind Vomit by Saira Jayne Jones.
If you would like to know more information, or if you would like to pitch an idea relating to any of the arts (Fine art, poetry, writing, photography, drama, art etc) please contact our Arts Project Coordinator : email@example.com
Aftercare is the continuation of work in partnership with the care experienced community and other stakeholders with a particular focus on living independently and developing a peer network of support, friendship and connectedness together with help in finding employment, education and/or training. We also provide financial support, small grants and help towards driving lessons.
Financial assistance is available in certain circumstances
Recognising the Value of Care Experience
Fully funded opportunities in the outdoors to care experienced adults.
Arts Project - find out about our featured artist